The Motherless Daughters Foundation’s Fourth-Annual Gala was a semi-formal affair that took place Saturday, October 15, 2016, at the Georgia International Convention Center and featured a silent auction. Atlanta First Lady and affordable housing developer Sarah-Elizabeth Reed serves as brand ambassador for Motherless Daughters. Xernona Clayton, CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc., is honorary mother.
Jennifer Keitt, host and executive producer of “The Jennifer Keitt Show” on WALR KISS 104.1 FM, served as keynote speaker. Emcee for the evening was South Fulton’s own Shaunya Chavis-Rucker, broadcast personality, and division chief for the Fulton County Office of Broadcast, Cable and Film.
Special guests included Miss District of Columbia 2016 Cierra Jackson and Sheryl Howard of the Dwight D. and Sheryl H. Howard Foundation. Honorees included Georgia State Sen. Donzella James (D), who represents the 35th District that includes portions of Fulton, Clayton and Douglas counties, Myrna White, director of public affairs for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Taliah Waajid, founder of Taliah Waajid Natural Hair Care Products and DeMario Pressley, former NFL defensive player.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was title sponsor for the 2016 gala. The event that serves as the nonprofit’s major fundraiser kicked off with a walk down the red carpet and included a seated dinner, entertainment, and silent auction of exciting items such as travel, cultural and dining experiences, autographed memorabilia and unique treasures.
The Motherless Daughters Foundation provides a mentoring program for girls ages nine to 15 living without support of their natural mothers as a result of unforeseen circumstances. Through Motherless Daughters, girls are paired with relatable mentors, and also have an opportunity to participate in summer camps plus year-round educational and enrichment experiences. Girls receive scholarships and donations of clothing and school supplies and more.
Rassalyn Willis founded Motherless Daughters. A community activist, Willis is owner of Xclusive Hair Studio and Spa in historic College Park, and is married with three sons and one daughter.